Shahid Afridi sports a peculiar helmet during PSL 2020 playoffs
Pakistan legend Shahid Afridi recently grabbed eyeballs when he sported a newly-designed helmet in the opening clash of PSL 2020 playoffs between Multan Sultans and Karachi Kings. The former skipper, who had earlier contracted COVID-19, last played in March during the league stage of the tournament. He returned to action against Karachi Kings at the National Stadium on November 14.
The grille of Afridi's helmet didn't have the top bar
Coming in to bat at number seven, Afridi started off with a bang before departing for 12. However, the spotlight was on the rather peculiar helmet that he donned while batting. Notably, the helmet was sans the grille's top bar, due to which, the ball could have struck him easily. Although Afridi looked comfortable sporting the helmet, it sparked a debate on social media.
Karachi Kings won the Super-Over thriller
Playing for Multan Sultans in the Qualifier, Afridi also took a wicket in the second innings. Interestingly, the match went into the Super Over after Karachi Kings failed to chase 142. Eventually, Karachi successfully defended 14 runs to win the thriller.
A look at Afridi's new helmet
South African legend Jonty Rhodes sides with Afridi
Speaking on the same, South African legend Jonty Rhodes approved Afridi's customization. "I played a couple of months ago and I had an issue with the top bar of the grille. I understand where he's at, I couldn't see through it either. So I did get mine ground down by from a safety point of view," said Rhodes.
Tendulkar had asked ICC to make helmets for batsmen mandatory
One may understand Afridi's effort, however, it is contrary to what several legends have been vouching for, lately. Recently, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar requested the ICC to make helmets mandatory for batsmen. "The game has become faster but is it getting safer? Be it a spinner or pacer, wearing a helmet should be mandatory for batsmen," he had tweeted.
The players have become more cautious about the protective gears
Over the years, the ICC has become more vigilant regarding such changes, which cause fatal accidents on the field. Even the players tend to take extra precautions, after a similar incident resulted in Philip Hughes' untimely death, in 2014. After his demise, the helmets were re-designed with the addition of a rubber-like compound at the back of the helmet.